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Comparison of waist-hip ratio, prehypertension, and hypertension in young male bus drivers and non-drivers of Bengaluru city

Pushpa K, Kanchana R.

Background: Hypertension is a public health burden globally and is one of the major risk factors for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Elevated blood pressure (BP) in young adulthood leads to atherosclerosis in middle age. Bengaluru is a rapidly growing city with huge traffic congestion which leads to increased stress levels in professional bus drivers. The purpose of the study was to assess whether bus drivers had higher waist-hip ratio elevated BP as compared to non-drivers.

Aims and Objectives: The aim of the study was to record the anthropometric parameters, measure waist-hip ratio, record systolic (SBP), and diastolic BP (DBP) in (1) Group A - 30 Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation bus drivers and (2) Group B - 30 non-drivers (clerical staff) and to assess and compare the results between both the groups.

Materials and Methods: Study included 60 subjects aged between 25 and 35 years chosen based on inclusion and exclusion criteria. Questionnaire including personal history and diet history was answered by all the subjects. Physical examination was done. Waist circumference and hip girth were measured and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) calculated in both the groups. BP was recorded in sitting position both by palpatory and auscultatory methods in both groups. The results were tabulated and statistically analyzed.

Results: WHR was significantly higher in the study group as compared to subjects in the control group (P = 0.01*). There was significant elevation of SBP (P = 0.001**) and DBP (P = 0.001**) in the study group. With respect to the years of job experience, study group had more SBP (P = 0.001**) and DBP (P = 0.043*) compared to controls.

Conclusion: Higher waist-hip ratio and increased BP in drivers as compared to controls suggest that drivers are at high risk of developing coronary heart disease or stroke at an early age. Drivers have to be educated about lifestyle modifications to reduce stress and maintain BP within a normal range.

Key words: Bus Drivers; Cardiovascular Disease; Hypertension; Prehypertension; Waist-Hip Ratio

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